New-home sales eke out gain for August

Sales up, inventories down for 5 months in a row

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Sales of newly built single-family homes inched up by 0.7 percent from July to August, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 429,000 — a 3.4 percent slowdown from a year ago, the Census Bureau said.

The month-over-month gain was less than expected by some analysts, but the boost in sales — along with the slower pace of construction of new homes — helped builders trim inventories.